It must have been while she was sleeping. Or perhaps when she was out in the parking lot talking to the neighbors. She can’t recall when or how. Must have buzzed around her head for a while, so tiny she would not have noticed it. Circled and circled until it found the right moment, then entered behind her ear. Bored its way through the soft moist skin back across the hard bone behind the lobe, back where there was still a hint of the scent of her shampoo. She never felt it, though she may have shaken her head or flicked the hair behind her ear or sneezed or something. I mean, how can such a thing have happened so unawares? Nevertheless, it was there.
The teeny winged notion planted itself in her brain and waited. Through a week full of nights and equal days. The week spun itself into a year. Or more. While it waited it grew, its belly growing fat, stretching and bulging until, finally, it gave birth. Nested the frenetic swarm of notion until they ripened and the little nubs on their shoulders stretched and morphed into wings of their own. They fluttered and flitted in her brain until she opened her eyes one afternoon after a fitful nap. Looked in the corner of the room and decided it was time to go. Saw shadows of things she had never before noticed. Heard voices and music and some distant drum beat calling her. So she went. Took only the soft blue sweatshirt from the pile of laundry in her closet, and the patent leather shoes she had purchased for her cousin’s wedding and never worn. That was all. Left her nightgown, and her blue plastic strip of pills, and her make-up and suitcase.
No one heard from her. They searched for nearly a year, some searched more, some are still looking. Wondered where she ever got the notion to leave. Now, even all these years later, her neighbors stood in the parking lot talking to each other, wondering whatever became of her, chitting and chatting and pursing their eyebrows. The gal who lived across the hall was sure she followed the fellow who had visited her apartment that one day in early autumn. She rolled her eyes to the upper left quadrant of her brain, rocked side to side on the outer edges of her feet as she talked, her arms crossed in front of her like she was holding her ribs in place. All of a sudden she slapped the back of her neck. Held her hand in front of her face looking for a mosquito but found nothing. Flicked her head to the side and scratched the itchy flesh behind her right ear; the soft, tender, moist portion of flesh behind her right ear.
Note- This is not autobiographical. Just a writing exercise. I know you were wondering.